New Font Helps People with Dyslexia Read

In Research by Paul Martin2 Comments

This is a subject that is very close to my heart, and likely close to many of yours as well.  While it doesn’t have much to do with CPR, use of this font could help people learn CPR indirectly.  According to the National Institutes of Health, in the U.S., one out of every five persons is dyslexic.  There are many different levels of dyslexia, so one font can’t help everyone with the disorder, but the font has helped many in tests so far.  I’ve got a mild form of dyslexia, which greatly slows my reading speed and comprehension, and reading the article about the font, written with the font, I found it really helped.

Whereas the majority of typography designers want their fonts to be aesthetically pleasing (think of the flowing serifs of Lucida Calligraphy or the chiseled lines of Arial), Boer was more concerned with reading comprehension. He estimates that the time he spent designing his font added up to 15 hours per letter. He even recruited dyslexic college pals for feedback.

One of the first things he did was increase the boldness of letters at their bases, to make them appear weighted, causing readers’ brains to know not to flip them upside down, as can occur with “p” and “d.” Boer also enlarged the openings of various letters, such as “a” and “c,” to make them more distinguishable from one another, and increased the length of “the tail” of other letters, like the “g” and y.” He also put certain letters at a slant so that they would appear to be in italics, like the “j,” a tactic to increase the brain’s ability to distinguish it from the letter “i.” Finally, he boldfaced capital letters and punctuation, and provided ample space between letters and words, to allow the brain more time to compute the letters and begin forming them into words and sentences.

Read more at Scientific American (read the article in the Dyslexie font (pdf))

Order the Font from his website (Available in English and Dutch)

Paul Martin

Paul Martin

I am the Director of Multimedia at ProTrainings, as well as the primary blogger here. I take care of the video editing, graphic design and corporate branding that you see on every video and every page on this site, as well as at ProCPR®, ProFirstAid®, ProBloodborne, StudentCPR, etc. My work is literally everywhere that ProTrainings goes. I also handle our Twitter accounts, so be sure to follow us there, if you use twitter! You can be sure that I’m not just an average joe writing this blog, but one of the founders of the company.

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Comments

  1. Jessica

    I very much like this article, being a special educator myself. The one thing that I have a hard time getting past is the title though. I know in special education the one thing we are taught is to use the person before their disability. Correct wording can always assure a writer no hard feelings from the readers. Whereas one might term a person with dyslexia a dyslexic, I would rather change the wording to saying: people/persons with dyslexia. Not everyone likes to be labeled by their disability.

    The title sounds more non-abrasive as: New Font Helps People with Dyslexia Read

    Now I know that not everyone gets offended by this, but it helps everyone to get in the habit of seeing the people before their disabilities.

    1. Paul Martin Author
      Paul Martin

      Thanks for the comment, Jessica. As someone that is part of the group, I was not aware that was how things are taught in special education. I appreciate the help.

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